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05th Mar 2022

16-year-old Ukrainian student reunited with her mother and brother in Ireland

“I’m excited to see my mom.”

Amongst all the turmoil currently ongoing in Ukraine since the Russian invasion, there have been some happy stories.

On Thursday 16-year-old 5th year student Sofiia Katasonova, was reunited with her mother and younger brother after their long journey from Ukraine.

Sofiia who has been studying in Ireland since last August says she is relieved to be reunited with her mother and brother;

“I’m excited to see my mom, I miss her so much.

She left Ukraine on Saturday morning. She went to the train, without my dad, with my brother.

They went to Poland and in Poland they lived with a Polish family.”

Sofiia’s mother Yana went on to say that even though the last week has been incredibly stressful she is very glad to be in Ireland with her daughter;

“Now we are fine. It was a long way over six days. So now we are fine.

Sometimes it was very hard, and it feels like you can’t do it anymore. But it’s very good when you know that here in Dublin you have support and family.”

While Sofiia is delighted to have her mother and brother safely in Dublin, the reunion remains bittersweet as her father and grandparents remain in Ukraine;

“We are all worried about my dad and my grandparents and my friends also.

I’m worried about my dad because he is now in Ukraine, but I know he wants to stay.”

Sofiia’s host family, the Fitzgeralds from Dalkey in Dublin, put in a great deal of effort to make sure that Sofiia’s mother and brother could to travel to Ireland.

They have also set up a gofundme page to help Sofiia’s family, as well as other Ukranian families who are being forced to flee their homeland.